Most cat owners don’t think about worming their kitten or new cat, but using the best cat dewormer regularly, can help prevent a serious parasite infestation. Regular use of cat dewormers can guarantee your pet remains safe and healthy, while preventing health issues that are commonly linked to severe parasite infestations.
If you’ve never purchased a dewormer before, then this guide will help you choose the right product for your pet, whether you’re looking for a broad spectrum dewormer, or a medication for a specific kind of parasite. As a cat owner myself, I’ve used these top products to treat new and resident felines for a wide range of parasites. Each product in this guide earned a high rating for low or no side effects, effectiveness, and overall quality.
Below, you’ll find a buyer’s guide that includes each product, how it rated, and which kind of parasites it can be used to treat.
Cat Dewormer Comparison Chart
Best Overall-Bayer Tapeworm Dewormer
Praziquantel is a fast and safe way to get rid of tapeworms for good. Each bottle contains three tablets, which can be crumbled up and mixed with cat food, for easier medication administration. These pills can eliminate taenia taeniaeformis, dipylidium caninum, and tapeworms. Perfect for indoor and outdoor cats, and adults and kittens ages six weeks and up, this dewormer can easily handle mild to severe parasite infestations and is gentle on the stomach. Fortunately, it’s also available at a low price and can be used to treat indoor and outdoor felines, or any ferals you take care of.
- Small tablet form
- Gentle on the digestive tract
- No prescription required
- Can be mixed with cat food
- Low price
- Excellent parasite prevention medication
- Not recommended for kittens under the age of six weeks
One of the best cat dewormers on the market, this product is gentle on the stomach and can be used to treat stubborn parasites in cats and kittens. If your cats or kittens have fleas, odds are they have some sort of parasite. Without medication, an infection can lead to a variety of health problems, including weight loss and vomiting in adults, and failure to thrive in kittens. This broad spectrum product is a great choice for the cat owner on a budget and features a fast acting formula that can handle worm infestations in a matter of hours.
Best Broad Spectrum Dewormers for Cats-Generic Pyrantel Pamoate Suspension
This broad spectrum dewormer can be used to treat stomach worm parasites, hookworm, intestinal roundworm, and pinworms in cats and dogs. It’s surprisingly gentle on the GI tract, so it can be used to treat kittens four weeks of age and older. This dewormer for cats is available in liquid form. Treatment must be repeated after two weeks of initial use to kill any eggs or larva that hatches after the first treatment. According to the manufacturer, pyrantel pamoate can kill up to ninety percent of worm infections in a matter of five days.
- Fast acting
- Low price
- Works for cats and kittens
- Veterinarian approved
- One of the most effective deworming treatments for pinworms
- Solution tastes like vanilla
- Broad spectrum dewormer effective on a wide range of parasites
- Solution is not effective unless cats consume entire dosage
Administering this solution can be difficult in aggressive or skittish cats. It can be mixed with some food, however, you must ensure your cat eats all of it to guarantee effectiveness. The mild vanilla flavor will entice cats and kittens to finish the entire dose, while the solution itself offers fast results that will rid your cats of parasites in a matter of days. Repeat treatment in fourteen days will be crucial to prevent reinfestation.
Best Cat Dewormer for Roundworms-Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer
This broad spectrum dewormer for hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms can be used for adults, seniors, and kittens over the age of four weeks that weigh a minimum of one and a half pounds. If you’re not sure how much a cat weighs, you will need to take their weight prior to administering, especially if you have a feline suffering from malnutrition.
Unfortunately, the bitter taste of the pill can make it difficult to administer. Make sure you use a very potent smelling food, such as sardines, and mix the medication and fish into your cat food.
- Treats hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms
- Perfect for cats of all ages
- Gentle ingredients
- Effectively eliminates parasites
- Low price
- Bitter taste makes it difficult to administer to cats
While the taste of the medication is very strong, with the right food, you can disguise the bitter, chalky taste. When given correctly, and with one repeat treatment, this dewormer does an excellent job of effectively eliminating a worm infestation. It’s also available at a low price and definitely one of those products you should have on hand, especially during the summer months when there’s a huge rise in the flea population.
Best Choice for Hookworms-Durvet Wormeze Liquid Wormer for Cats & Kittens
Hookworms are the most prevalent intestinal parasite found in cats of all ages and they can be difficult to treat without a powerful product. Additionally, liquid dewormers for cats tend to focus more on roundworms or tapeworms. This product is specifically designed to eliminate hookworms in cats and kittens six weeks and up. If you have a kitten under six weeks of age, speak with your veterinarian for more information and recommendations regarding medications you can use in younger kittens. Liquid medications can be easier to administer compared to a tablet since it can be added to food or the cat’s water. However, there’s also the concern that the cat isn’t getting the entire dosage.
- Effective treatment
- Low price
- Easy to administer compared to tablets
- Eliminates parasites instantly
- Treats hookworms only
- Cannot be used in kittens under six weeks of age
If you’re dealing with a serious hookworm infestation, this medication is fast acting and can have your pet worm free in a matter of hours. Like most dewormer medications, treatment must be repeated ten days after the initial dose. This allows the medication to eliminate any adults that hatched after the first dose. This product is easy to use and powerful enough to stop a serious parasite infestation in its tracks, with the proper repeat dose.
Cat Dewormer Buyer’s Guide
Using over the counter dewormers for your cat isn’t just about quality, it also has to do with the type of parasites your cat is infested with. In this buyer’s guide, I’ll go over the different kinds of cat dewormers available, how they work, and how to choose the right cat dewormers for effective treatment.
How Cats Get infected with Parasites
Even indoor cats can require cat dewormers from time to time, especially if they’re caught rifling through their cat litter to eat their feces. Typically, cats will become infected with worms by ingesting an infected flea as they groom. They can also get parasite infections by eating worm eggs in the environment. Fortunately, there are many types of medications that can successfully treat an infection over the course of ten days. While the initial treatment will eliminate parasites in a matter of hours, repeat treatment is needed to kill any eggs still in the intestinal tract. These eggs will hatch in ten days, which is why most dewormers require a second dose.
Types of Worm Infestations
There are many kinds of parasites that your cat may come into contact with, especially if your cat is sort of an outdoor pet.
Below, you’ll find a list of the most common types and symptoms your cat may experience.
Full grown roundworms can measure in at three to six inches long and will begin by infesting a feline’s intestines. As the roundworms grow, they begin to reproduce and hatch, spreading to the organs in the body.
Roundworms can enter a cat’s body when they’re still in their larval stage. The parasitic eggs can be found outdoors in birds and rodents, which many cats enjoy hunting and killing. The eggs can also be found in the feces of infected animals or in the soil. Even an indoor cat in perfect health can get this type of worm, especially kittens. A kitten can become infected with roundworms simply by drinking its mother’s milk.
People can get roundworms and some other types of parasites from their infected pet, which is why immediate treatment is essential.
Symptoms of a roundworm infestation in a cat can include:
- A dull coat
- Poor health
- Decreased appetite
You may even see worms in your cat’s vomit or stool. Typically, a kitten’s belly will become hard and enlarged, while the rest of their body remains malnourished due to the parasites remaining in the intestinal tract.
Tapeworms, also known as flatworms, get their name because they’re segmented and flat. As they grow, some of the segments of the parasite will break off and are passed through the stool. A cat can become infested with these worms if they consume animal feces or drink water that has been infected by tapeworm eggs. A cat can also become infected if they eat birds, rodents, or fleas that are infested with tapeworms.
Symptoms of tapeworm infestation in a cat includes:
- Excessive biting and licking of the anus
- The appearance of small tapeworm segments in the hair around the anus or in the feces.
These worms love to call the intestines home and will suck the blood from the intestinal walls, which can cause anemia, bleeding, and inflammation of the intestines, which can be hard on your cat’s health.
A kitten can get hookworms by drinking its mother’s milk, or they can become infected by coming into contact with the larvae, which is found in contaminated feces, water, litter, sand, or soil.
Symptoms of a hookworm infestation in a cat can include:
- Sores and lesions on the pads of their paws
- Stool that’s tarry and dark
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
Additionally, a cat may have pale lips and nostrils.
Since these worms can do some serious damage to your cat’s health, you’ll need to purchase products that are specifically designed for hookworms and treat your cat immediately.
Lungworms in a cat can infect the lungs, which can result in severe breathing problems. A cat can become infected if they eat the larvae, which can be found in infested rodents or contaminated water.
Symptoms of lungworms include:
- Fluid build-up in the lungs
- Shortness of breath
- Weight loss
Cat dewormers are a type of medication that kills the larvae and adult parasitic worms. There are several types of over the counter and prescription dewormers for cats available.
These meds are usually administered in liquid or tablet form and contain active ingredients, such as:
- Pyrantel pamoate
Dewormers for cats can be hard on the body, since a cat with a severe infestation may already be weak, malnourished, and may have lost a lot of weight. Products such as ivermectin can treat ear mites, in addition to other types of parasites such as roundworms and can be used in combination with other types of dewormers. However, this dewormer requires a prescription.
Customer Request for Medication
As a customer, you can meet with your pet’s vet to discuss your options. The sort of medication a vet recommends is often more powerful than what you’ll find online.
For serious ear mites, roundworms or hookworm infections, you will need to speak to your veterinarian regarding prescription medication. A prescription dewormer can be required when over the counter products have failed to eliminate the parasites. A veterinarian will be able to order tests that can pinpoint what type of parasites you’re dealing with and order the proper medication.
Liquid or Tablets
You can choose products that are available in either liquid or tablet form. Most products that are in liquid form can be added to a cat’s food. These dewormers are commonly used to treat stray and feral cats as well, since you don’t have to come into contact with the cat to administer the medication. However, there is the concern that the cat will not eat all of the food or drink all of the water, which can mean they didn’t get the entire dose of the dewormers. With tablet form, you can be sure your cat gets the entire dose in one shot, however, it can be difficult to give a cat a pill, especially if the cat is aggressive or skittish. Both types of dewormers have their own advantages and disadvantages, so you should also choose dewormers based on your cat’s temperament.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Dewormer Do Vets Use for Cats?
Many vets will prescribe Drontal, a prescription strength broad spectrum medication that kills roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms in one shot. It’s also safe to use in kittens that weigh 1.5 pounds.
Do Cats Poop Out Worms After Being Dewormed?
Dying and dead roundworms can pass into the feces after the cat dewormer has been administered. Because no type of dewormers can kill the immature forms of the worms, in addition to the migrating larvae, two to three treatments will be needed to effectively rid your cat of a parasite infestation.
How Long After Deworming a Cat are the Worms Gone?
Most types of dewormer will kill adult worms within a period of twenty-four hours after the medication has been administered. However, an additional dose may be needed ten days up to four weeks after the initial dose, in order to eliminate any adults that were larvae when the cat was given the first dose.
Do Cats Feel Ill After Deworming?
Most cat dewormers are very safe and don’t have any side effects, when dosed correctly. The most common side effects of deworming products include excessive salivation or hair loss at the application site, if you use a topical product.
Parasitic infections in cats is fairly common, especially if you have an outdoor or indoor/outdoor cat that has been infested in the past. If you find that your cat is infested with parasites, then you’ll want to buy the best cat dewormer to eliminate the infestation and improve your cat’s health, immediately. Unfortunately, in some cases, an infestation can be fatal in cats, which is why prompt treatment is essential. If you’re unsure which type of parasites your cat is infected with, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Once they have tested a stool sample, they can prescribe or recommend products that can effectively treat the sort of parasites your cat is infected with.